Monday 29 August 2022

Weebery Five - I Barely Survived

I am back and I have watched yet more anime. I could not stop. The original posts are here

Inuyashiki Last Hero

Gankutsuo: The Count of Monte Cristo
Outlaw Star
Full Metal Panic!

The Great Passage
Bannana Fish

Ranking of Kings
Odd Taxi
Fire Force
My Hero Academia
Attack on Titan
Mob Psycho 100
Demon Slayer

I have broken this down into categories based on general theme

Darling in the Franxx
Assassination Classroom
The Girl from the Other Side

2 - COMEDY???
Spy x Family
Love After World Domination

Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department
Shadows House
Vivy -Flourite Eyes Song

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works

Dr Stone, Series 1
The Vision of Escaflowne
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation
The Devil is a Part-Timer Series 1
Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World
Banished from the Heroes Party I Decided to Lead a Quiet Life in the Countryside

86 Eighty Six

In order to keep this to something like a sane length I will try to describe the premise to each show in AS SHORT A WAY AS POSSIBLE before moving on to note things I liked.


Darling in the Franxx - what the actual fuck

Starts as a porn kind of? Gets good then goes VERY strange. Look it’s just your classic evolved-from-porn post-apoc teens in mecha show that evolves into a ruthless depictions of vampiric gerontocracy which then in the very last big turns into a cosmic galactic war, also the mecha are driven by orgones or their equivalent apparently.


The central section where the teens in a kind of fishbowl simulation of a school gradually find out that they are essentially malmukes, slaves created purely to fight to the death in defence of a society of immortal adults, that they are subhuman in that society and they will never "grow up" and become adults, either they will die in the field or die of genetic degradation since they are hybrids not made to live that long.

We find this out along the way in a range of neatly implied ways - the children’s school uniforms which look like early 20thC ritualised European school uniforms with braces, ties, garters for the socks - then we find out that these are daily-extruded plastic/paper hybrid all in one coverings with just those elements pictured or embossed on the fabric. We didn't see this because its an animation and we can't see the texture of cloth, and the teens don't know how strange it is because its all they've ever known.

It's really quite wonderfully horrific - the depictions of seemingly-empty night-cities of immortal humans who live in giant CLEAN apartments blitzed out of their minds on cyber-soma, with no actual physical connections to each other.

The "bad" things about Franxx are also things I kinda respect it for just having the balls to do. I sort of respect it for being so irredeemably porny to start with (think it actually evolved from a porn to begin with) and towards the end of the series it goes completely fucking nuts, in a way where you get the sense they knew they were not getting a second series and decided to 'Babylon 5' it, so in very quick succession you get the secret queen of an underground race of ancient, well not aliens as they are terrestrial but Archeans or Cryptids, plus the ascension of adult humanity to a bodiless state by a bunch of aliens who were behind everything the whole time, the reveal of a centauroid super-robot powered by love, war in space, pregnancy, learning to grow crops, more war in space and a cosmic gate to the far side of the Galaxy and a super-war against the aliens. It really goes balls out.

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = its literally all about that - OLD = BAD! BOOMERS = BAD!! Looks like Japan has already gone through everything we are about to.

+ Calls to the FBI = so much it would be mad to try to list them, the whole thing really, especially at the beginning. If you have seen this you should be on a watchlist.

Assassination Classroom

Its Goodbye Mr Chips if Mr Chips was a --- like a warner brothers monster? Or a surrealist nightmare? The moon blows up. A super-being exists and reveals to the worlds government that they blew up the moon and are going to destroy the earth and the ONLY way to stop this is to let them teach this one particular class in this one particular Japanese school and if the students in this class can assassinate the creature before the year ends the world will be saved. Honestly its a tribute to insanity that this plot actually makes sense by the end  of the series.


Basically imagine if one of those shitty High Concept series from US TV that starts "what if" and rapidly dies of being milked too much and staggers on with its desperate original fandom hanging off its withered haunches - well imagine if one of those was over and done in one series and actually managed to answer all the insane questions it brought up at the start. And was funny.

What can I say it’s Mr Chips/Dangerous Minds with heart-warming stories of personal growth and regular increasingly complex assassination attempts and various plots

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = not that much but the Japanese School system treating its "failures" as disposable objects is a theme.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = a little, one of the students is very obviously a "trap" and this becomes a whole thing. But honestly, for anime, relatively low levels of ambient paedophilia

The Girl from the Other Side

A girl wakes up in the forest at night, heavily implied that she is a survivor of a massacre of "infected" or suspected infected people from 'the inside', this forest being the outside. Meets a weird as shit man beast monster wearing a suit who looks after and protects here while being very careful never to physically touch her as he definitely is infected and if they touch she will end up a memoryless monster like him.


It’s really incredibly strange and beautiful. Is either hand animated or pseudo-so. Storybook, well I say "dreamlike" too much but this is the most like a dream you half remember. Quite affecting. 

ANGRY though because clearly much deeper and more complex than what we were shown but we only got THREE EPISODES! WHY? Cost too much to animate? Ended in a vague bougie ambivalent symbolic way which frustrated me. It’s based on an illustrated series so may eventually pick that up.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = NONE! Don't you fucking even DARE to besmirch the purity of this sacred Anime!


Spy x Family

If you know anything about Anime you probably know about this already but I will go on. Pseudo cold-war setting. cold as ice but Heart of Gold super-spy  given mission to literally create a family, beautiful but very awkward young office girl secretly a midnight super-assassin looking for a cover relationship to get suspicion off her back, orphan girl w telepathic powers is looking for a home, all  three come together in a pseudo-family which is, in effect, a real family except we know that and they don't. The spy doesn't know the wife is an assassin, the wife doesn't know the husband is a spy, neither of them know the girl is psychic and the girl knows everything.


Do you know how fucking hard it is to do an action comedy that’s actually good and that’s for normal people? Well the first part is hard for anyone, and doing anything even vaguely normal is hard as shit for the Japanese...

Its just a really well done action comedy that’s also a very pleasurable, ridiculous and self-sustaining farce. Basically its Frasier meets The Man from Uncle. A family who don't realise they are actually a family but we the audience do! Normative Values! you probably don't think this is good from the way I described it but it fun as shit so whatever.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = there are LITERALLY NONE its hard to believe! This Anime is pure! Oh no wait I forgot Yor Forgers brother has a somewhat creepy crush on her. I spoke too soon, you win again Japan.

HOWEVER, other than this, this is one of relatively few Anime that I would willingly show to normal people. 

Love After World Domination

The main guy from a Power Rangers type situation and the S&M-Themed Arch Foe from the villains organisation fall in love and have a tentative romantic relationship.


This was pleasant and the art style was calming. the warm soft roundness of the characters and ok basically I have a childs colour palette so whatever fuck you. The gags are intermittently funny but sometimes go pretty hard. I laughed occasionally. Someone clearly put a more than normative amount of effort into developing the art style at least compared to the average anime.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = I don't know if an almost insane level of neuroticism and pathological avoidance and simultaneous desire for intimacy actually counts as "perversity", but its repeated so much in anime that it actually feels like it does.  I suppose this one isn’t that bad as they are partially making fun of those tropes.

Also the Miss Reaper costume is... like way too hot for a sort-of kids tv themed anime


Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department

(This is really a comedy but I needed to bulk this section out). Farcical/Absurdist workplace comedy with a young scientist trying to survive and get ahead in the crazy world of corporate but the corporation is actually the evil supervillain org from a seinen hero series - her job is monster development and all the monsters go out and get beaten up by the hero figure.


Slightly badly animated but much more directly funny than 'Love After World Domination', the workplace insanity is more cutting and feels more on point, monster designs being completely bollocked because the CEO paid a visit to the lab and 'made suggestions', a valentines themed chocolate monster being banned from use because she was poorly manufactured and is full of foreign objects, (also never make a holiday themed monster, you can only use them once a year), single-episode beat-em-up sidekick roles being sketchy single say work-for hire jobs where they bus you to another city and don't tell you what it’s about, its funnier than I'm making it sound.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = male monster gets brain transplanted into the body of a hot wolf girl yeah its Japan.

Shadows House Series 1

Is it weird that this reminds me of the Korean film The Handmaiden? I really liked this one. Young girl wakes up in a box, in a servants room in a labyrinthine house, finds out that she is a 'living doll' and is meant to act as a servant for  a featureless living silhouette the exact shape and form of the main character with slightly different dress who speaks and seems to think just like a young noble lady but who emits soot in a vertical column when upset. An entire generation of shadows live in this wing, each with a 'living doll' servant, which they are physically identical to in form and shape, except that they are utterly featureless black voids. Gradually we realise that  that the 'living dolls' as well as being servants are meant to act as their shadows 'face', learning their moods and manner so well that they can walk alongside them and simultaneously express emotion in a visible way. Then our main girl and her shadow mistress are put through a range of increasingly odd and obscure tests and situations, those that don't pass "disappear".


It’s a beautiful weird country house puzzle drama. I like stuff where everyone is mannered and drinks tea and anyone could be killed at any time according to a labyrinthine arrangement of rules which are never fully disclosed. Possibly this is my British DNA showing. The first series main character Emilico, a hyper positive to the point of mental illness super-girl is great. The classic introvert/extrovert pairing of the two main girls is also great.

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = oh hell yes, the older generation of Shadows are effectively evil and part of an evil and consuming structure of power headed by the oldest, who is essentially worshipped by the rest.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = not that bad.

Vivy – Fluorite-Eyes Song

An A.I. created "to make the world happy with my singing" is visited by another robot from the future,  in the future A.I.s go Skynet and destroy mankind. These two team up to alter events so that doesn't happen. The stage is set for a series of special-ops missions and strange investigations spread out over decades as the two awkwardly try to change fate.


Remember the Asimov film I.Robot, well its a bit like that but good, except actually very good. Really well animated - some fucking great robot vs robot vs cyborg vs human fights. Matsumoto the cube-formed time travelling robot is great, especially as time goes by and he develops more and more abilities and add-ons, all of which are cube-based. Ah and its overwhelmingly sad. Also its really beautiful, did I mention how well animated this is? Plus each episode is a strange new evolution of the relationship between men and machines, and between machine and machine.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = you know I'm not sure I even saw one. A guy does fall in love with a robot at one point but the incredible sadness of how it turns out really robs it of FBI points.


Goddamn Fate, the Universe which started as a multiple choice story that was also kinda a porn and just got more complex from there.  Basically don't bother with this unless you like working things out of the fly or really enjoy lore. I have only watched two series of this; Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works and Fate/Zero.

A  maguffin called the 'Holy Grail' grants wishes. To reach it, seven mages have to fight each other by summoning seven 'Heroic Spirits', like ghost, tulpas or reincarnations of famous historical heroes. Only one mage can reach the magical thing at the end. 


The main interest comes from the tactical dicking about between the mages and the various skill-sets and personalities of the different mage/spirit pairings, and the conflicts between the values, personalities and ideologies of the different mage and spirit combos. In one scene Gilgamesh, gender-swapped King Arthur and Alexander the Great have a sit down to discuss the meaning of Kingship, you are unlikely to get this stuff outside Anime.

Damn the creator has a dark view on the heroic ideal and the search for meaning, in Fate Zero at least, those with the most clear "heroic" motivation are gradually corroded by those desires, leaving them mutated and morally compromised, while those who often seem if not sociopathic then very unpleasant, often gradually come to seem more reasonable as time goes by and they emerege as, at least, less hypocritical and self-deluding

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = not so much though the old mage families which dominate things are usually mildly psychotic.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = YES. Did you want to see Gender-Swapped King Arthur tied up in a BDSM style by Gilgamesh Lord of Uruk well you are going to.


The genre that has eaten Anime like a fat fucking fuck eating everything. 

But the Isekais have been going so long that they have started to meta-evolve, a bit like the Gremlins in the film 'Gremlins 2' producing slightly more interesting variations and iterations on the basic theme. Here I throw in Isekais and a range of post, pre and semi-Isekais together.


Is this even an Isekai? Or even a post-post Isekai? Fuck knows. It does take place in some kind of virtual dream realm or something. A teenage boy wakes up with amnesia, his parents are 'on holiday', he tries to act normal and go to school but the city is attacked by Kaiju and things get stranger from there.


Very strange intense and horrific dreamlike feel as kids and people die horribly in monster attacks before the city is "re-set" each night, leaving no memory of the particular people who died. Only the main characters know people are "missing" school classrooms gradually becoming more sparse, happy families reduced to lonely parent and single parents unable to mourn the absence of someone they can't even remember.

Pleasing monster designs - especially towards the end where the demonic entity allowing the Kaiju to become real just grabs a bunch of unfinished ones off the shelf, resulting in some really awkward, gawky nightmare broken toy monsters that are quite unpleasant.

Also a good scene where the heroes meet with the main alien/demon guy in an ordinary roadside restaurant at night -everything is normal and low-fi and this fictional supervillain inhuman nightmare guy thing walks in and no-one but the heroes really perceive it fully.

Monster vs Robot Superhero fights with the crazed energy of a childs summertime imagination but maybe we are indeed in a dream or something like that? What is real?

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = not really other than the deep loneliness of the children

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = hmmmmmm

Dr Stone, Series 1

Mankind gets turned to a bunch of stone statues by UNKNOWN FORCES. Several thousand years later one guy wakes up and decides he is going to re-create ALL human technology from the stone-age ground up, revive ALL of humanity and also work out the Petrification thing.


Procedural science stuff! That’s basically what this series is about. Want to see how to go from a literal stone age level of tech to building a radio in a year or so? Well here you go.

The Plot armour in this one is a little ridiculous.

There are some genuinely effecting moments where stone age people experience the miracles of raw science, diseases defeated through sulphur drugs, an electric light shining in a stone age world.

Has a lot of unexplored depth where you could look at the not-all-good effects of technology and knowledge on a prehistoric culture but that’s largely unexamined 

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = motivation for the main villain is that in our time the place was plagued with olds who owned everything and kept everyone down so now he is going to CRUSH their frozen bodies and build a NEW SOCIETY of the young and pure! No one has told this guy that people age I guess

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = none come to mind... a gymnast eats cotton candy in a suggestive way..

The Vision of Escaflowne

One of the (near) original Isekai transported to a dream realm stories? and its technically Shogo. Teenage girl arrives in fantasy land where evil Wizard Scientist guy is trying to conquer everything for obscure reasons - girl faces "bellas choice" between Hot Princes whilst having adventures, also there are steampunk mecha powered by dragon hearts.


Its FUCKING BEAUTIFUL. PEAK 90s aesthetic. The backgrounds. Sky rocks hovering in the midnight air. The science-fantasy worldbuilding. The dreamy summer-ish feel. Our own planet hangs in the sky like an unreachable vision.

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = Isaac Newton is evil and old but he's just taking the place of God who is always evil in Anime.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = I think there's a sister-brother crush in this? Not sure. But that’s about it, oooohh no I forgot [SPOILERS] one of the evil characters is actually the abducted sister of one of the good guys, transformed through dark science in to a psychotic man, yes they changed her gender and psychology thanks Japan you did it again.

The Devil is a Part-Timer Series 1

After a standard defeat-the-demon-lord story the Demon Lord in question escapes... to Japan. With a handful of his courtiers, followed by the Hero who beat him. Over here though magic is hard to come by and they are little more than normal people who have to adapt to Japanese society, get jobs etc.


Damn this thing is keeping a lot of balls in the air. In particular a strong conflict between the rarely stated background and current reality, i.e. the demon king literally killed quite a lot of human beings, including the hero girls actual family, and this is never entirely swept under the rug, but just chunders there quietly. Honestly manages to remain fun and interesting but how will they maintain it and where are they going with it?

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = questionable relationship with subordinate at McDonalds

Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World 

NEET is Isekai'd to normative Fantasy World, is genre savvy but has no special powers. Turns out his power is Groundhog Day. When he dies he is returned to the last 'save point' and must live that time again till he can reach the next. He doesn't know when he has reached a save point, doesn't know anything about the vast range of conspiracies and horrible things aimed partially at him and is massively overpowered by everyone, plus when he dies its utterly horrible and traumatic.


Oddly a really innovative story structure. Everything is a mystery and the hero progresses largely through understanding *context*. 

Deep and tragic alienation of the Hero from reality as, he knows and values everyone around him deeply but from their perspective they met him about a week ago. Same applies to us as through repetitions we understand everyone’s drives and backstory.

Key Point - its really more of a horror story, or a guy trying to escape from a horror story, and the middle parts of the first series are some of the most exciting horror/nightmare stuff I've seen recently. Poor bastard dies so much and so horrifically, and is so utterly trapped by fate and astounded by impossibilities, that ultimately he does what anyone would and goes completely catatonic - just shuts down mentally for several episodes, AND THEN THINGS GET WORSE

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = fetish maid.

Banished from the Heroes Party I Decided to Lead a Quiet Life in the Countryside

Another derivation of the Pre/Post/During/Alternate 'Defeat the Demon Lord' story. Follows the guy who is the mainstay of your JRPG party throughout the first half of the story but eventually you load up on specialists and level grind and he's just not keeping up so you summarily dump him in an inn or something, after taking every single sword and potion you left on his person.


Prepare to see something you have never seen before in an Anime, something so surprising it may SHOCK YOU. In this story, a man, and a woman (not related by blood or even raised together), have an emotionally intimate relationship, that develops at a reasonable pace, without any insane misunderstandings, mental breakdowns, mind control, demon rape, anyone bein snatched into a parallel dimension or any we-need-to-hide-this-from-the-world bullshit, and then they fuck. 

They just fall in love, get closer and eventually have fulfilling sex. I don't know what to tell you. Has 'BftHPIDtLaQLitC' actually done the impossible and produced an anime with NO perversity? No because the guys sister kinda has a crush on him. 

I mean thats not the only good thing about this series - the slow development of how living in what’s effectively a 'Levelled' society actually works and affects people, and the weird science-fantasy inferences of how that came to be ('High-Elf Ruins look like a crashed space ship, very D&D) are interesting, plus a main character who is trying hard to avoid explicit heroism and build another kind of life with a strange skill set, good. But holy shit they just kiss, bang and have a relationship, holy fucking god.

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = Kami Sama seems evil but that’s relatively normal for Anime

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = Sister crush

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

FUCK this is tiring. Did I write about this one already? Its not the original Isekai but the one that set the template for the more recent versions. NEET meets Truck Kun and is reincarnated as a baby with a nice family in a fantasy world, he keeps his adult knowledge and is naturally insanely overpowered with magic juice.


I've been writing this for a while.. It’s just really good? It’s kinda pervy but surprisingly emotionally honest compared to most Anime. This is one of the only guys where they got Isekai'd and actually genuinely tried to change who they were in their new life and genuinely and deeply struggled against their own crappy broken personality and to actually grow in ways not defined b power (though they also get to be super-powerful too HAXXXOORRR.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = Oh yeah plenty. Really can't even list them all.


86 Eighty Six

Future gene-hacked society is fighting against an A.I. hive-mind someone accidentally made and which is wrecking everything but hopefully it will run out of juice soon. In order to avoid taking casualties they uuuuuussseee.. the children of refugees! Yep its child soldiers thrown into disposable mechs and sent to fight until they die. Main female character is an in-group remote force commander who starts to intuit that race-based child slave solders might be wrong somehow.


People shit on this because its depiction of racism is facile but I am old and conservative and 90% of all pop culture is somewhat like that for me anyway so whatever. 

The direction has these modernist cuts which leap directly from inference or incident right to consequence, which I quite liked and appreciated as it saves me a fair amount of time. The depictions of swarm warfare - solar-powered micro-drones filling the sky like swarms of flies or lying in great fields like crops of glass, weird mechs and super mechs, the shitty spitfire-like vulnerability of the good-guy mechs, the depictions of a decadent society which has made a terrible invisible deal; its officer class bloated, drunken and mentally broken passed out in fountains capped with statues of the glorious founder, nothing to do except remotely supervise the sacrifice by war of the Untermensch, and the bad-guy A.I. has taken to stealing the heads of human troops lost in the field, it finds some forms of originality hard to rips the heads off, freezes them and either strips the brains down to engrams or just straight up wires the heads into its mechs as an officer corp.


  1. Its wierd that this is arguably part of my job

  2. I suspect there is probably 0.1% connection between the two/three, but SSSS.Gridman is technically an update of a 1993 live action series, plus that series' 1994 American Power Rangerised adaptation.

  3. Dr Stone is really great if you like very long explanations of how things are made. I do like very long explanations of how things are made.

    On the other hand, I have never bounced off an anime harder than the Fate franchise. If The Room is a porno without the sex bit, Fate/Apocrypha is a hentai where the worldbuilding bits to justify the sex took over the that I write that down, that's not actually a metaphor, that's just what it is.

    Spy x Family is definitely the ideal first anime to show people, yeah. I'm praying Season 2 doesn't open with a beach episode centred on Anya's classmates or something.